Sometimes in my battle against crossdressing, I feel like I have to learn to lust properly. Let me explain. In the past, the more I crossdressed and gave in to crossdressing sexual pleasures, the less I desired my wife. Sometimes cuddling with her wasn’t very pleasurable, and sometimes we never even were able to have sex because I just wasn’t interested. When we desire crossdressing for sexual pleasure, it’s hard to desire women, or our wives, as we are meant to. We have to learn to desire what we are supposed to.
I feel like crossdressing for sexual pleasure is sinful just like pornography is sinful. One is not necessarily worse than the other in God’s eyes. But in some ways, I feel like crossdressing desires are one step removed from pornographic desires. Lusting after a woman who is not your wife is sinful and misplaced, because you supposed to lust only after your wife. So pornography or lusting after other women is one step removed from what is normal and good and intended by God. But I think crossdressing in some ways is one step beyond even lusting after other women. Not only am I not lusting after my wife, I’m not lusting after other women, I’m instead lusting at what other women are wearing. At at some point in middle school that lusting after what women were wearing changed into crossdressing which was me lusting after myself really, or the corrupted deceptive version of myself. So if you think about it like this, crossdressing desires are far more distorted and removed from proper sexual desires than something like pornography is. (But it’s equally sinful to pornography).
Because of this, I think finding healing from crossdressing is not necessarily real straightforward. Ideally, God could just heal me and I’d be able to go right from quitting crossdressing to desiring my wife as I am supposed to. But I’m starting to wonder if that skips some necessary, (but still sinful), steps in between for crossdressers. I know that is really weird to say. And I’m not sure it’s really right to say that from a biblical and Christian perspective. I value your thoughts and feedback on this.
Sometimes I feel like to fight against crossdressing, I need to learn to desire women as women instead of their clothing. I need to learn how to desire women in general as I am supposed to. God created me as a man who is supposed to have lust and desire for women. Of course normal men have this and they need to learn to control it. But I feel like I need to learn just to have it in the first place. Maybe learning to have that lust for women and not their clothing is the first step in the right direction. Then once that desire is cultivated, I can learn to control that lust and focus my desires for sex with women only on my wife and love her as she is supposed to be loved.
Someone who is struggling with pornography can just learn to control that lust and focus it on one person. But someone like me who struggles with crossdressing, or someone who has homosexual desires, our desires are much more removed and different from what is right. That doesn’t make us more evil, but it may mean that recovery and proper formation of desires could take longer. (For the record, I believe sexuality is quite fluid based on my personal experience and interactions with others. I think you can learn to sexually desire almost anything and maybe unlearn some sexual desires. I’ll write on that more fully in another post).
As I’ve fought more against crossdressing in the past few months, I am finding that my desire for women in general is increasing. I am noticing women more in life, not necessarily lusting after them, but still thinking about them as women more and thinking less about their clothing. I am also finding myself drawn to looking at pictures of beautiful women online. Not looking at their pictures to want to be them, or wear what they are wearing, but looking at them because they are beautiful, looking at them with desire. In some ways, I was really encouraged to be desiring women like this.
But on the couple occasions I did this, I also felt guilty. I wasn’t looking at pornography, but I was lusting. So I repented and asked for forgiveness from God. Jesus did say lusting after other women besides your wife is sinful. But I keep wondering if for me this is a necessary step of learning to desire women in general. Is it possible that in our healing from crossdressing, we have to turn to other things that might be sinful temporarily? (sort of like the ethical issue of lying to save the Jews hiding in your house from the Nazis, sinning in one way to avoid a greater sin. Maybe this is similar). I would hope this is not necessary for us, but I keep wondering about it. Anyone have any helpful thoughts about this?
As of now, I affirm fully everything in this post, except for the above paragraph. I think that might be going way too far. Sinning in another way to avoid another sin just doesn’t seem right in almost all cases. But anyway I think I have exaggerated how necessary it would be. I’ve only been going a few months or close to that since failing last with crossdressing. And already I desire my wife much more greatly and passionately. I think about her more. I try to love her more. And I desire her sexually much more and have better times with her sexually. So perhaps it doesn’t have to be such a long drawn out process. Perhaps God is making the healing in me much more quickly than I had hoped. (As a quick footnote, even if my desires for crossdressing couldn’t ever change, and I couldn’t ever increase my desires for my wife, I’d still not give in to crossdressing and still try my best to love my wife as well as I could. God never promised to take away all of our temptations or make our lives easy, not until Jesus comes again at least).